Midtown Neighborhood Restaurant Guide

Tired of eating at the same places? Try one of these just-opened restaurants that are making a splash in the Midtown dining scene.


Residents of MIMA and The Westport know that Midtown is the heart of New York City. With unparalleled cultural offerings and an amazing density of businesses and people, the neighborhood always has something new going on. In the culinary world, that translates to unlimited restaurant openings and plenty of memorable options that capture the energy of this bustling part of town. These eateries that opened in 2018 are some of the best options for dining right now in NYC. You’ll want to put them on your radar as you make reservations for the coming year.

Bluebird London

10 Columbus Circle

A popular London establishment owned by Des Gunewardena and David Loewi has moved stateside with the just-opened Bluebird London, part of the restaurant and bar collection at the Shops at Columbus Circle. The attractive space features a comfortable lounge area and a sunken dining room with plush seating and Central Park views. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant is equally appropriate for business meetings, cocktail dates, or upscale meals before a show at the adjacent Jazz at Lincoln Center. The menu, run by chef Nicolas Houlbert of Bar Boulud and Epicerie Boulud, offers a modern take on British cuisine, with dishes like Cornish chicken pie, beef Wellington, and Chelsea buns.

Photography courtesy of Bluebird London.
Reservations on Resy.
Read more in Eater. 

Saar Indian Bistro

241 W 51st St

Hemant Mathur’s latest restaurant explores Indian cooking in a brilliantly colored space inspired by his hometown of Jaipur, known as the Pink City. The chef is behind other popular Manhattan restaurants like Dhaba and Chote Nawab and the Michelin-starred Tulsi and Devi, now closed. At Saar, he explores the multicultural cuisine of India with dishes that incorporate Jewish, British, and Persian references like cauliflower latkes and Kashmiri gucchi truffle risotto. Look out for the tandoori lamb chops; critic Sam Sifton once wrote that “no one in New York makes lamb chops like Mr. Mathur.” 

Photography by Melissa Horn.
Reservations on OpenTable.
Read more in the Michelin Guide.

Little Tong Noodle Shop

235 E 53rd St

Popular noodle shop Little Tong received rave reviews, including two stars from New York Times critic Pete Wells, when it first opened in the East Village. The casual eatery run by chef Simone Tong now has a new location in Midtown East that’s perfect for a quick, hearty bite or a Seamless delivery. The focus of the menu is Mixian rice noodles from the Yunnan province of China in flavorful varieties like pork with green peppercorn oil or chicken with black sesame garlic oil. There’s also the JB Melt sandwich inspired by the Chinese jianbing with either beef shank or pork belly and melted cheese in a flaky pancake. Critics agree that the sandwich is excellent, so make sure to order it alongside your noodles.

Photography courtesy of Little Tong Noodle Shop.
Reservations: None.
Read more in Time Out.

Yamada Chikara

249 E 49th St

At this Midtown restaurant by Japanese chef Chikara Yamada, the focus of the $180 omakase menu is a dish called kushiage, a deep-fried skewer of vegetables, meat, or seafood that’s popular in Japan but hard to find in New York. Yamada trained at the world-renowned Spanish restaurant El Bulli, where molecular gastronomy played a key role. A glimpse of the chef’s background emerges in the first course, a rosewater and sake martini with a molecular gastronomy olive that moves from liquid to solid form. After a spectacular range of dishes that focuses on the restaurant’s specialty skewer is served, an evening at the restaurant ends with Japanese desserts and matcha tea.

Photography courtesy of Tock.
Reservations on OpenTable.
Read more in Eater.

Boqueria

260 W 40th St

The tapas restaurant chain expands to the Garment District in a grand location where top-notch Spanish bites are on the menu. Along with a large dining room, bar, and outdoor patio, there’s also an open kitchen with seating where diners can watch the chefs work their magic. With no shortage of space, this location is an ideal spot for groups. Two special items are unique to this Boqueria outpost, including a six-spit rotisserie for chicken and whole suckling pig. There’s also the brand’s signature Barcelona-style tapas spearheaded by chef Marc Vidal. Studio Razavi is responsible for the decor, which features a wood-slat ceiling, marble countertops, and plush banquettes that add a comfortable yet lively vibe inspired by a Spanish market.

Photography courtesy of Boqueria.
Reservations on SevenRooms.
Read more in Eater.

The Polynesian

400 W 42nd St

Inside the Pod Times Square, a sprawling tiki bar is bringing a dose of tropical paradise to Midtown West. Run by Major Food Group, known for popular destinations like Carbone and Dirty French, the bar is great for grabbing after-work drinks or entertaining out-of-town visitors. Teakwood floors and bamboo ceilings carry the theme through the space, where Brian Miller serves up an inventive drinks menu incorporating both tiki classics and one-of-a-kind creations served in eye-catching glasses. While cocktails are the star of the show, there are also tasty snacks for sharing like coconut shrimp, crab rangoon, hot jerk chicken satay, and a pu-pu platter with a little bit of everything.

Photography by Noah Fecks.
Reservations on OpenTable.
Read more in Tasting Table.

 

From tiki to tapas, Midtown has a ton to offer restaurant fans right now. These 2018 openings are worth a visit, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that more noteworthy debuts will come in 2019. Which of these spots is your favorite? Tag us on Instagram at @related_rentals and let us know, plus share where else you love to dine in the area.

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